The USS Drew (APA-162) was a Haskell-class attack transport. Most notably, the ship saw service during World War II, especially in the operations that required its involvement in the region of Okinawa. The USS Drew was in charge of the safe transportation and landing of armed servicemen to the battle zones.
For its participation in the Battle of Okinawa, the ship was awarded one Campaign Medal, but its service in the line of fire also earned it a World War II Victory Medal and a Navy Occupation Medal.
Technical Features of the USS Drew (APA-162)
Class and type: Haskell-class attack transport
Launch date: 14 September 1944
Commissioning date: 22 October 1944
Decommissioning date: 10 May 1946
Displacement: 14,837 t full load
Length: 455 ft
Draft: 24 ft
Beam: 62 ft
Speed: 17 kts
Complement: 56 officers and 490 enlisted
Fuel capacity: NSFO 7,780 bbls
Propulsion: single propeller, 8,500 shp
Armament: one single 5-inch/38 caliber guns, one 40mm gun, four 40mm guns, ten 20mm guns.
History of the USS Drew (APA-162)
The USS Drew was built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Oregon. Mrs. G. De Darmo sponsored the ship and Commander D. H. Swinson was the commanding officer when the vessel was placed in commission in October 1944.
In December 1944, the USS Drew steamed from California to Seattle, Washington while carrying passengers on board. After dropping them off in Washington, the vessel loaded supplies and left for Honolulu on 18 December.
In January 1945, the Drew was commanded to leave Pearl Harbor in order to deliver ammunition to the American bases settled off Guam and Ulithi. After successfully having done so, the ship took part in training exercises that were focused on effectively landing troopship in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa. On 26 March 1945, the Drew was participating in landing missions on small islands off Okinawa just as planned.
In the month of April, the ship was a part of landing operations on two occasions, on the 16th and on the 19th. On 26 April, the vessel was in need of maintenance work and so it steamed to Ulithi where it docked to undergo an overhaul.
By June 1945, the Drew went back to the United States in order to embark soldiers and transport them to Manus.
At the end of the war, the ship was deployed to Japan two times, taking on board troops that it had previously landed and servicemen that were eligible for discharge. This operation was finalized by December 1945 when the last of veterans were brought to Washington.
In May 1946, the Drew was decommissioned and scheduled for disposal by the Maritime Commission.
Asbestos Risks in the USS Drew (APA-162)
Even though today asbestos carries a different reputation than the one that it used to have in the first decades of the last century, the mineral still manages to be a great part of the lives of the American people. With proven durability and property to not react to electricity, thus providing safety from combustion in high-temperature mediums, materials containing asbestos were for a long time believed to offer protection to individuals in various lines of work.
Based on this belief, the U.S. military, and in particular, the Navy showed a special interest in the mineral and acquired it in large quantities, incorporating it in the shipbuilding process to improve the safety of the personnel when deployed at sea.
Thus, pumps, boilers, turbines and components of the electrical system were coated in mixtures in which asbestos fibers had been added, and until the 1970s, when a purge of all asbestos insulation was ordered in regard to all Navy ships, workers had to regularly come into contact with the toxic substance as part of their duty. It is no coincidence that of the total number of people that are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease each year, Navy veterans make the most of patients.
Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos on the USS Drew (APA-162)?
If you suffer from a disease caused by exposure to asbestos and you are also a Navy veteran, there is a possibility that your time in service is the reason for your sickness. To learn more about this topic, call us at 760.621.6147.